Tretchikoff: The people’s painter’ Opens

A retrospective exhibition of the artist Vladimir Tretchikoff will open to the public at the Iziko South African National Gallery on 26 May until 25 September.

From the Press Release: “While Tretchikoff is undoubtedly one of South Africa’s most controversial artists, much maligned in the 1960s and onwards by several members of the established arts community, there can be no doubt that he has become a cultural icon and remains a favourite artist to many South Africans. Sales of his work have recently reached record levels at auction and there is a considerable revival of interest in his iconic paintings amongst designers, younger artists and critics. Despite this, there has been almost no serious assessment of Tretchikoff’s art and his legacy. This exhibition aims to examine Tretchikoff anew and place him in contemporary perspective. In his heyday, Tretchikoff’s exhibitions drew record audiences at home and abroad. He pioneered the idea of selling affordable copies of his works, enabling working class people to own art which they proudly displayed above their mantelpieces. Works such as Chinese Girl, The Dying Swan and Fighting Zebras have become a vital part of popular culture. ‘In many ways, Tretchikoff is a major figure in the history of South African and world art and ignoring him won’t make him go away. It’s about time that we gave him a critical look and reassessed his rightful place in our art history,’ noted Andrew Lamprecht, exhibition curator and fine arts lecturer. ‘We want to finally acknowledge Tretchikoff as a prominent artist in the country’s history and to acknowledge the millions who loved his work,’ said Riason Naidoo, Director of Art Collections at Iziko Museums. The exhibition has been supported by or received sponsorship from, among others: Iziko Museums; the Department of Arts and Culture; City of Cape Town; Elliott’s International; GAC Laser; the Rupert Foundation; the Chinese Embassy; Lemnis Lighting and the Tretchikoff Foundation. Enquiries: Andrea Lewis Andrew Lamprecht ”